Mr. Mayes was appointed Director of the VA Regional Office in Boston, Massachusetts, in August 2010. He is responsible for administering the disability compensation and vocational rehabilitation and employment programs in Massachusetts serving more than 375,000 Veterans and their families. In November 2011, he assumed responsibility for the Manchester, New Hampshire, and White River Junction, Vermont, VA Regional Offices expanding his leadership role to the entire Middle New England area of operations.
Prior to Mr. Mayes’ assignment in Boston, he led VA's Compensation and Pension Service from 2006 to 2010. This assignment is acknowledged as one of the most complex and demanding within the Veterans Benefits Administration. As Director of Compensation and Pension Service, he was responsible for policy formulation and oversight of VA’s disability compensation and pension benefit programs with a portfolio that grew from nearly $35 billion to more than $48 billion during his tenure. His accomplishments include groundbreaking new disability evaluation criteria for Traumatic Brain Injury and simplified claims procedures for Veterans suffering with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.
Mr. Mayes entered the Senior Executive Service in February 2005 when he was appointed Director of the Cleveland VA Regional Office, VA’s seventh largest regional office at the time. Mr. Mayes began his career with the VA in 1991 as a GS-5 Education Claims Examiner. He is a graduate of the Federal Executive Institute and Leadership VA. Mr. Mayes graduated with honors from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville with a degree in Economics.
Karen Gooden was appointed as Assistant Director of the Boston VA Regional Office (VARO) in January 2013. In this position, she is responsible for assisting the Director in the administration of disability compensation and vocational rehabilitation and employment programs to more than 375,000 Veterans and their families residing in the state of Massachusetts. In 2012, Ms. Gooden served as Acting Director of the DesMoines VARO for 2 months. Prior to this role, Ms. Gooden was the Staff Assistant at the VA Records Management Center (RMC) where she served in an Assistant Director role; assisting the RMC Director in the management of the facility. During her tenure at the RMC, for seven months she served as the VBA Co-Chair for the VA-DOD Medical Records Working Group in the absence of a Permanent Director.
Ms. Gooden began her Veterans Affairs career in July 2001, as a Veterans Service Representative in the St. Petersburg Regional Office. She assumed positions of increasing responsibility in and related to the Compensation and Pension program, including Senior Veterans Service Representative, Regional Office Trainer, Assistant Coach, Coach, Inspection Project Manager and Chief of Outreach. As Chief of Outreach, Ms. Gooden was assigned to VBA headquarters in Washington, D.C. where she oversaw VBA’s national outreach efforts. Ms. Gooden came to the VA from previous management roles as a Customer Service Manager and a Call Center Manager in the corporate sector.
Ms. Gooden is a U.S. Army Veteran and a certified instructor/trainer both in the VA and the U. S. military. During Operation Desert Storm, she trained Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) soldiers in preparation for deployment. Ms. Gooden is currently a participant in VBA's 2013 Assistant Director Development Program (ADDP). She attended VBA’s Instructor Development Course in 2004, VBA’s Introduction to Leadership in 2007, VISN 8’s Competency Development for Leaders in the 21st Century in 2008 and VBA’s Division Leadership Management Training program (DLMT) in 2011. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management from Eckerd College (FL) and resides in the greater Boston area.
Mrs. Tebo-Piccione began her career with the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration in 1984. She transferred her career to the Veterans Benefits Administration in 1992.
In February 2012 she was promoted as the Veterans Service Center Manager at the Manchester VA Regional Office. Mrs. Tebo-Piccione oversees the administration of the disability compensation program for Veterans and their dependents living in New Hampshire.
Mrs. Tebo-Piccione resides in New Hampshire with her husband and daughter.
Jennifer Hersey is currently the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Officer for the Boston, MA, Manchester, NH, and White River Junction, VBA Regional Offices.
She began her 20-year Federal civilian career with the Coast Guard in 1992. In 1994, she joined the Department of Veterans Affairs as a transcriptionist; then went to work for the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Division as a Psychology Technician, Program Support Specialist, and Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor. After eight years as a VRC in Manchester, NH, she returned to Boston as the VR&E Officer in December of 2008.
Ms. Hersey holds a Bachelors degree in Psychology from Wellesley College, and a Masters of Education in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Massachusetts, Boston.